Jacqueline Susann’s Once Is Not Enough


(out of 5)

The third adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s books, and the first one produced after her premature death in 1973, this is still an enjoyable if ridiculous soaper.   plays a big-time Hollywood producer on the decline whose daughter (a fresh and amiable ) has come home from months in rehab following a devastating motorcycle accident.  Short on cash and desperate to make sure she lives in the lap of luxury, Douglas marries a Barbara Hutton-esque heiress (a gorgeous ) and gives up his career, much to his daughter’s chagrin.  She, in turn, meets a novelist () with whom her father has been on the outs for years, unable to resist the opportunity to get initiated into her sexuality with a replacement for her beloved dad.    has a terrific supporting role as a magazine editor (reportedly based on Helen Gurley Brown) whose entire self-esteem is based on bedding every single man in New York City, while  appears in an all-too-brief supporting role as the woman (based, allegedly, on Greta Garbo) with a secret connection to Smith.  The film is a veritable soap opera splashed on the big screen in apologetically garish tones, but the characters are all amiable and it stays fun even when it unwisely move towards a focus on the romance between its naïve heroine and her stereotypically jaded older lover.  The fireworks between Douglas and Smith would have been a much better bet, but it’s still a good and nostalgic time to be had.

Aries Productions, Paramount Pictures, Sujac Productions

USA, 1975

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Howard W. Koch

Music by Henry Mancini

Production Design by John DeCuir

Costume Design by Moss Mabry

Film Editing by Rita Roland

Academy Awards 1975

Golden Globe Awards 1975


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